For Western Europe, the Dark Ages was a time of regression. Shrouded in violence and disease, the infrastructure, trade, medicine, employment and education all depleted as the Roman Empire fragmented under warring tribes .
In the Renaissance, medieval architecture was compared with the Classical style (Greeks and Romans) which was much admired for its well ordered structures based on symmetry and other mathematical rules and for its simple, pure lines . Medieval architecture was viewed negatively and was considered chaotic, ornate, exaggerated, crude and barbaric in style. It was called Gothic as an insult!
GOTHIC SPIRES Lichfield Cathedral Image Source: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6018/6014596043_16b3276458.jpg Medieval architecture had soaring spires probably representing an ambition to go beyond human limitations and reach the divine .
GOTHIC SPIRES Image source: http://static.flickr.com/91/206882648_7415fc00a5_b.jpg Duomo Milan
FLYING BUTTRESSES Sources: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4090/5053497552_57b1880343.jp Santa Barbara Czechoslavakia Flying buttresses were added to the external walls. Although not particularly attractive, they had a very important function. With them, structures could go higher (without the walls collapsing) and this allowed the interior space to be larger and more open.
VAULTED ARCHES Source: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3111/2727200273_f0bc721650.jpg Salisbury cathedral The rounded arches of classic architecture were replaced by pointed ones. Again these changes were very functional, they were more effective at channelling the weight onto the columns supporting them. This allowed architects to create much higher ribbed vaults.
Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/r80o/4387087/sizes/m/in/photostream / With a greater expanse of thinner walls, windows became a more prominent feature & allowed the buildings to have more light. Many windows used stained glass to depict religious scenes in vibrant colours. STAINED GLASS WINDOWS
STAINED GLASS WINDOWS Sources: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3489/4606687412_de9f7757ba.jpg http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3479/3740497060_57daeda293.jpg
Image source: http://hercules.gcsu.edu/~rviau/ids/Artworks/France/Notredame/Gargoyles/gargoyles17.jpg GARGOYLES Medieval churches often covered with grotesque carvings of demons, gargoyles and monsters. These sometimes served as waterspouts but generally were there to protect the building from evil forces.
Gothic art had its origins in Gothic architecture and developed through sculpture to textile art and painting which included stained glass, fresco, illuminated manuscripts and oil paintings. Renaissance artists like Raphael and writers such as Vasari considered medieval art to be chaotic, monstrous, barbaric and superstitious and gave it the derogatory label Gothic, which stuck !
Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/77/Cenral_tympanum_Chartres.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/41/Torun_SS_Johns_Mary_Magdalene.jpg/450px-Torun_SS_Johns_Mary_Magdalene.jpg Mary Magdalene St Johns Cathedral Torun The Western Portal Chartres Cathedral GOTHIC ART: SCULPURE
Sources: http://www.medievalscript.com/category/books-of-hours/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/dis-order-ed/5531232455/sizes/m/in/set-72157626278062722/ Illuminated manuscript :Hours of Catherine of Cleves 13 th century stained glass: Bourges Cathedral France GOTHIC ART: PAINTING
GOTHIC ART: PAINTING Image sources: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/be/Simone_Martini_071.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/be/Venanson_-_Chapelle_Sainte-Claire_-_Fresque_-3.jpg Oil painting: Miracle of the child attacked and rescued by Augustine Novello 1328 Simone Martini Fresco painting: Venanson - Chapelle Sainte-Claire
Much of medieval art had a religious focus , although in late 14th and 15th centuries Gothic paintings did begin to depict secular scenes such as hunting and historical events. The religious content was often created to teach specific moral and spiritual truths . A late Gothic artist from The Netherlands, Hieronymus Bosch, depicted sin and the evil of man by creating scenes with demons, half-human animals and machines. These were quite gruesome and aimed to cause fear and perhaps confusion. GOTHIC ART: PAINTING
GOTHIC ART: PAINTING BOSCH Hieronymus: ‘Hell’ The Garden of Earthly Delights (details ) Sources: http://lisag123.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/delightd.jpg http://cgfa.acropolisinc.com/bosch/bosch28.jpg
GOTHIC ART: PAINTING BOSCH Hieronymus The Seven Deadly Sins (detail)1480; Death and the Miser, approx. 1490 Sources: http://www.wga.hu/art/b/bosch/2deadly/7deadly3.jpg http://cgfa.acropolisinc.com/bosch/bosch2.jpg